Letters to the Editor: We’ll wish we paid for clean energy when climate change gets worse

Logs on the ground in a burned forest.
Charred pine trees burned in last year’s Dixie fire stand near Greenville, Calif., on March 17.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In 1982, I taught a university senior seminar on looming environmental problems. Among the various issues, students felt global warming was the most concerning.

Columnist Nicholas Goldberg notes that we can’t seem to move beyond concern to action. It’s time to try some creative solutions.

For instance, what do insurance companies say about their rising costs amid worse disasters? Are companies going to stop insuring against these events? Can we do a cost-benefit analysis that shows the cost of inaction?


What about the economies of coal-producing states? Can we develop a program to guarantee incomes to support early retirement for those who work in these industries? Would that be cheaper than the cost of doing nothing?

And what about the oil companies? Can we get their money out of our politics? That may be the first step if we are to elect leaders willing to do what is needed

Margaret Hamilton, Portland, Ore.


To the editor: Goldberg tells us he’s read the United Nations reports many times about serious trouble that is coming. Yet, molecule by molecule, we continue to transfer infinitesimal amounts of greenhouse energy to the atmosphere, together equaling many times more energy than all of the nuclear weapons on Earth.

The fossil fuel industry convinced us that its immediate privilege is more important than the survival of life on Earth. They threaten $10 gasoline if we complain. We meekly acquiesce, afraid of losing our consumption high, not realizing we are losing so much more by accepting its drug.

Scientists increasingly tell us that stopping “cold turkey” is our last chance at preserving a livable world. But it feels so good when our gas tank is full and we have an open road in front of us.


Phil Beauchamp, Chino Hills